There is something about charging down the mountain, picking your line through the trees, and getting low (very low) in your carves.
I know you know the feeling. It’s when you are at your best connecting turns and powering through any conditions the mountain brings you.
However, when it comes to carving, snowboards are not created equal.
Carving like a boss requires having a snowboard that can hold an edge through any terrain you ride on with effortless precision. Not all snowboards can do that well.
Whether your terrain of choice is powder in the backcountry or fresh groomers at the resort, you need to make sure you have the right snowboard under your feet to connect those turns. We compiled a list of the best snowboards for carving in the 2021 season to make sure you find the right board for you.
So let’s get started. Scroll below to see our hand selected list of the top six Carving & Freeride Snowboards for 2023.
- Capita Black Snowboard of Death 2023 – fastest carver
- Jones Flagship 2023 – best for carving all terrain
- Never Summer Proto FR 2023 – best for all conditions (Ice or Powder)
- Lib Tech Dynamo Snowboard 2023 – precision carving with tons of tech
- Bataleon Party Wave Plus 2023 – resort fun carver
- Never Summer Lady FR 2023 – smooth carving with hybrid shape
Also there are some insane deals going on for boards right now. See our Best Snowboard Deals page to see the ones we recommend.
The Best All-Mountain Carving Board
The Capita Black Snowboard of Death (BSOD) is a directional all-mountain freeride board celebrating its 22nd birthday for the 2023 season. Throughout the years, the board has been perfected to be the badass grim reaper or riding that it is today. This board sells out fast, so if you’re interested, I would recommend you preorder the 2023 version while all the sizes are still available.
The Black Snowboard of Death has Capita’s New Age Directional shape. It has a slightly larger nose than tail with a half-inch setback stance. While the board is intended to ride in your regular stance, it can still ride switch exceptionally well.
The BSOD 2023 features Capita’s Alpine V1 profile. It looks like this.
It has a camber section between your feet with a flat tail and then a reverse camber in the nose. The board profile allows the deck to be stable for carving through icy conditions while having a ton of energy and pop. The shape of the board’s nose also makes the BSOD a solid option for riding on powder.
The Black Snowboard of Death’s sidecuts were made for precision carving. The sidecuts have an extra arc in the middle of the board to provide the BSOD with an extra contact point. Capita calls the tech in the sidecut “Death Grip,” and as the name implies, this board has an insane level of grip while carving in all conditions.
The Black Snowboard of Death has a few new upgrades for the 2023 season.
The main new feature to highlight is the new core. This year, the BSOD was upgraded to include Capita’s Thermopolymer Hover Core. This is a core made of a combination of extremely light, thin poplar and paulownia wood strips. The wood is laid into the core like this.
The new core makes the BSOD a very damp, smooth feeling ride while making this snowboard incredibly lightweight and durable.
You’ll notice in the above picture there are carbon shields wrapping around the insert packs. These carbon sections give the board an insane level of response and stability while adding a spring-loaded pop for launching off jumps.
Another new feature added to the 2023 version of the BSOD is the new topsheet. Capita added a specially treated wood veneer nearly half a pound lighter than the standard topsheet. The new topsheet helps give this deck an extra level of board feel while keeping the overall weight down. The BSOD’s other laminates include triax fiberglass, flax, and other plant-based materials. The result is an extremely damp, eco-friendly board with a medium flex rating and the perfect level of responsiveness for carving.
The base of the BSOD has Capita’s Hyperdrive base. It is a highly formulated sintered base with durable, ultra-high molecular weight, high-density polyethylene, and other special additives to keep it fast. It then is professionally tuned to keep it fast in all conditions.
If you want to get a board capable of high speed and carving like a dream, then the Black Snowboard of Death is for you.
- Sidecut with extra grip to help with carving / Built for challenging terrain
- The board profile making it a solid option for hardpack or powder.
- Directional Shape
- Hyperdrive Base – Fast durable sintered base that has been pre-tuned to perfection
- Damp feeling / Shock absorption
- Can be expensive
- Not beginner-friendly. This is fast and grippy. You won’t want this as your first deck.
Sizes Available: 156, 157 Wide, 159, 161 Wide, 162
See the Right Size Capita Black Snowboard of Death for You
|Size (cm)||Rider Weight (lbs)|
Flex: Medium to Stiff 6.5/10
Bindings to Pair With It: Union Force Pro
Best 3D Profile Carving Snowboard
The Jones Flagship is the quintessential top freeride snowboard intended to carve through any technical terrain that you throw at it. The board has a fully directional tapered shape. The tail on this board is .49 of an inch more narrow than the nose. The wider nose gives the board its natural ability to float through powder without the need to lean or adjust your stance.
The Flagship has a 3d spoon-like shape in the nose and tail. There is a .27 of an inch curvature to the nose and tail that looks like this.
The curvature helps with connecting turns and gliding through powder. To further help your carving and edge hold, Jones added Traction Tech 3.0 into this deck. Traction tech adds a few small bumps into the edges to improve edge hold. It is similar to Magne Traction, just far less aggressive. Traction Tech 3.0 has three bumps in the side. One traction bump is in the tail, one in the center, and one at the nose. These extra traction points allow you to carve through any terrain without being overly aggressive.
Here is an overview video of the main features in the Jones Flagship.
The wood core is a blend of poplar, paulownia, and bamboo. The center of the Flagship’s core is designed to be slightly softer than the nose and tail. The more pliable center improves the board’s torsional flex while the stiffer nose and tail offer stability. The result perfect combination for connecting turns while having the energy and pop to hit backcountry kickers if you wanted to.
The laminates of the board use Tri-Ax fiberglass. There are X shaped layers throughout the deck to give it its added torsional flex. The Flagship has a sintered base, so it will remain fast for you as long as you wax and maintain it.
This snowboard is a great option for riders who want to focus on their carving at the resort or in the backcountry powder.
- Shape gives it a natural powder float
- 3d profile
- Traction Tech 3.0
- On the pricey side
Sizes Available: 151, 154,158, 159 Wide, 161, 162 Wide, 164, 165 Wide, 167, 169 Wide, 172
See the Right Size Jones Flagship for You
|Size (cm)||Rider Weight (lbs)|
|151||120 – 170|
|158||130 – 180|
|159 Wide||140 – 190|
|161||140 – 190|
|162 Wide||160 – 210|
|164||160 – 210|
|165 Wide||160 – 210|
|167||160 – 210|
|169 Wide||170 – 220+|
|172||170 – 220+|
Flex: Stiff 7/10
Bindings to Pair With It: Jones Mercury
Best Carving Snowboards for All Types of Conditions
The Proto FR is an extremely fast, aggressive, yet easy-to-ride beast of a carving board. The Proto FR is designed to handle every type of condition riders encounter, from powder to ice and everything in between.
The Never Summer Proto FR has two key features that make this snowboard phenomenal at carving through all conditions. First is its board profile. Never Summer gave the Proto FR its Triple Fusion Camber profile.
Here is what it would look like if you were to look at this snowboard from the side.
The board profile has three camber sections connected by two smaller rocker sections. The benefit to having more overall camber in a hybrid profile is that the camber sections dig in as you carve, giving this board an aggressive edge hold and added stability while still being easy to transition edge to edge and float in powder. Basically, it has all of the responsive benefits of a camber dominant snowboard while being easy to ride in all conditions.
The second feature that helps this board carve well is its Power Grip Sidecut.
The main idea behind this feature is that the Proto FR has three different radii from the nose to the tail. The benefit is that the different sidecut angles give this board additional contact points that add stability and grip on ice, while the straight section adds stability at slower speeds and while floating in deeper snow.
Never Summer added rubber and other dampening features into the Proto FR. They call this feature the RDS 1 Damping System. The dampening system eliminates the chatter and vibrations you normally feel in your legs while riding on harder snow at higher speeds. The benefit is that you can ride the Proto FR longer than some other boards on this list before your legs get tired.
The wood core of the Proto FR is a combination of bamboo reinforced with birch stringers. The result is a snowboard that is lighter weight and more durable than other decks out there. Additionally, the sidewalls are designed to be durable and crack-free, thanks to Never Summer making them out of sintered P-Tex. The base of the Proto FR is scientifically built to reach insanely high speeds. It is a high-quality sintered base specifically intended for racing. The base on the Proto FR is made with an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE), black carbon, and modified with special paraffin base additives. You can glide through any terrain while ripping at speeds you have never reached before.
If you are looking for a resort board ready to carve at high speeds through all conditions, get the Never Summer Proto FR.
- Phenomenal resort carver – Good on groomers, powder, or ice
- Edge control is next level
- Lightweight / Maneuverable
- Fast / Durable
- Loads of pop / Energy in board
- This board is powder ready. Tt has a directional shape with a .75 inch (19.05 millimeters) set back stance and .12 an inch (5 millimeters) of taper.
- Slightly more expensive than some of the others. However, you get a lot of tech built in. There is a lot of board for your money here.
- The waist width is narrow, so note if you need a wide (X) or extra wide (DF) size. X sized boards would be for riders with a USA Men’s shoe size of 10.5 through 12. DF sized boards would be for riders with a shoe size larger than a USA Men’s 12.
Sizes: 156, 157X (Wide), 160, 161X (Wide), 162DF (Extra Wide),164, 165X (Wide), 166DF (Extra Wide)
Note: If your shoe size is between 10.5 – 12, then get an X (wide board). If your shoe size is greater than a 12, get a DF (extra wide “Drag Free”) board.
See the Right Size Never Summer Proto FR for You
|Size (cm)||Rider Weight (lbs)||Shoe Size (USA Men’s)|
|156||125-175||UP TO 11.5|
|160||140-190||UP TO 11.5|
Bindings to Pair With It: Union Falcor
Flex: Stiff ( 9 out of 10)
Best Freeride Snowboard for Icy Conditions
The Lib Tech Dynamo is a directional freeride snowboard that is versatile enough that you could take it anywhere on the mountain. The Dynamo has a slightly wider nose than its tail. The wider nose helps the board float above the powder on those steep days. The directional shape of the Dynamo gives the board a fun, predictable carve. While the Dynamo is intended to ride in your regular stance, you could still land switch if you were to do a 180.
The carving potential of this board is immense because it features Lib Tech’s Magne-Traction edges. The edges are serrated strategically to provide an exceptional edge hold while you are carving through all conditions. When you look along the sidecut of the board, you will see there are seven angled bumps built into in the edges. These serrated bumps bite into the snow as you carve. No matter how icy it is, this board is going to carve well for you.
The board profile is a C3 camber. It looks like this.
The C3 is a traditional camber board with the slightest bit rocker between your feet. If you were to lay this snowboard board flat on its base, you would notice the rocker between your feet is mild and does not reach the surface it is laying on. The result is you get the versatility of a rocker with the stability of a camber snowboard.
The Dynamo’s core is a wood blend of 75% aspen and 25% paulownia. The combination of wood gives the board its balanced playfulness and lightweight. There are birch rails running through the sidecut to enhance the board’s power and durability.
The laminates are a combination of triaxial and biaxial Fiberglass, and the base is Lib Tech’s Eco Sublimated TNT base. The base is designed to be as tough as a sintered base while reaming fast with less maintenance.
If you are looking for a high performance freeride board that could carve through any condition you throw at it, this is the board for you.
- Directional shape gives it a natural powder float
- Magne Traction – can grip any terrain
- Softer flex in a freeride board
- Not great for beginners
- Not intended to ride switch
Sizes Available: 150, 153, 156, 156 Wide, 159, 159 Wide, 162, 162 Wide
Flex: Medium 5/10
Bindings to Pair With It: Bent Metal Solution
The Best Snowboard for Eurocarves
The Bataleon Party Wave Plus 2023 is a volume shifted (wider and shorter) snowboard with a tapered directional shape. This board comes in two variations. The one in the picture is the slightly more expensive carbon fiber version called the Party Wave Plus, and there is also a non-carbon version called the Party Wave. Both boards are an excellent option for anyone who wants a powder board that is a beast at carving through resort hard pack too. This snowboard has the tech to both float beautifully in powder and carve through slush or ice.
Like other Bataleon snowboards, the Party Wave Plus features Bataleon’s 3BT (triple base technology). 3BT basically means this snowboard has a 3d shaped base where the nose and tail have a spoon-like curvature. What’s different about the Party Wave is that Bataleon modified this particular version of the 3BT tech to make it freeride focused. They call it the 3BT Freeride shape. You can learn more about 3BT Freeride shape as well as the main features of this snowboard by watching this quick overview video.bindings. However, the contact points of the nose and tail extend out longer than some of the other Bataleon freestyle boards. The 3d curvature, longer contact points, and camber work together in the Party Wave to power up your carves as you are putting your weight into them. The 3BT allows you to glide as you connect your turns.
In addition to the 3d profile, the Party Wave is volume shifted snowboard. This board has a wider than average 28 cm / 11-inch waist width and a unique (deeper given the shorter length) 9-meter radius sidecut. The result is that you will be able to lay into deep carves in any conditions and glide with ease going from edge to edge. If you’re looking to learn Eurocarves, this is the board to learn it on as you won’t have to worry about toe drag.
The Party Wave Plus features a core that is a lightweight combination of paulownia and poplar wood. Additionally, Bataleon added carbon stringers into the core and sidewalls to add a layer of pop and stability into the plus version. The additional carbon is one of the main differences between the Party Wave regular version and the Plus version we are reviewing here.
The laminates are made of Triax fiberglass. It gives the board a strong responsiveness with around a medium flex. The base is a high-end sintered base. Bataleon designed it to be incredibly fast and durable. Additionally, Bataleon made the base to be eco-friendly. Some bases will have an opposite color pattern so that all of the materials in the production. As a result, you might wind up with a Party Wave where the nose is black while the tail will be orange. This helped the Bataleon reduce waste during the construction of the deck.
If you are looking for a volume shifted snowboard that can carve through powder and allow you to lay out turns at the resorts, this is the deck to go with.
- The unique Freeride 3BT shape
- Volume shifter wider width for long euro carves.
- Effortless glide edge to edge
- Great option for powder
- The Plus version is sells out fast. Preorder the 2023 version to ensure they have your size. The preorder is available right now.
Sizes Available: 148, 151, 154, 157
See the Right Size Bataleon Party Wave + for You
|Size (cm)||Rider Weight (lbs)|
|148||130 – 170|
|151||141 – 176|
|154||154 – 194|
|157||170 – 220|
Flex: Medium 5.5/10
Bindings to Pair With It: Bataleon Chaos Asymwrap Bindings
Best Women’s Snowboards for Carving
The Never Summer Lady FR is a tapered directional all-mountain snowboard with a freeride focus. The Lady FR has all of the versatile properties of the now discontinued Lady West Snowboard and combines it with the camber profile and lightweight core of the Men’s Never Summer Proto FR. This board has a few key technical features that help it carve through any type of terrain you’ll encounter at the resort.
The Lady FR’s board profile is a Triple Fusion Camber profile. It looks like this if you look at it from the side.
The Triple Camber Fusion profile gives the Lady FR a third camber section connected in the nose and tail by two small rocker sections. Additionally, the nose has an early rise section to help the snowboard float in powder. Combining rocker and camber in the profile is that you get a response board that holds an edge while still being playful and easy to ride.
The longer nose of the Never Summer Lady FR’s unique shape allows the board to float easier in powder and maintain a stronger edge hold while still having a ton of pop.
The core of this board is a combination of bamboo wood reinforced with birch stringers. This combination gives the board a medium flex, keeps it lightweight, and makes it incredibly durable.
To help reduce chatter while carving on rougher terrain, Never Summer added the RDS 2 Damping System with Elastomeric Underfoot Stabilizers. These features help reduce the board’s vibration and allow you to ride longer without getting tired. The overall dampness rating of the Lady FR is an eight out of 10.
The Lady FR has carbon sections throughout its entire construction. The carbon gives the board a springboard-like pop, reinforces its edge hold, and adds more stability while carving.
To help the Lady FR carve more aggressively, Never Summer included its Power Grip Sidecut. The Lady FR has five additional contact points to improve its edge hold and carving ability. It looks like this, where each transition point adds another contact point to the edge.
The base of the Lady FR is Never Summer’s high-end sintered base, the Durasurf XT 5501. It is durable, incredibly fast, and ready to rip down any terrain you can ride on.
If you are looking for a board that can do it all, is fun to carve, and will progress your riding, then get the Never summer Lady FR.
Also, check out our Best Women’s Snowboards of 2023 award list to see other all-mountain boards that are phenomenal at carving.
- The unique Triple Fusion Camber profile
- Smooth ride thanks to the RDS 2 Damping System and Elastomeric Underfoot Stabilizers
- Responsive edge to edge
- Carbon adds tons of pop and durability
- Not great for beginners due to its hybrid profile and stiffer flex
Sizes Available: 144, 147, 151, 153, 156
See the Right Size Never Summer Lady FR for You
|Size (cm)||Rider Weight (lbs)|
Flex: Medium / Stiff (7 out of 10)
Bindings to Pair With It: Union Trilogy
What is carving snowboard?
Carving is a foundational part of snowboarding, so technically, you can carve” with any deck. However, a snowboard for carving is one that primarily excels and is intended to carve down the mountain. These are more commonly called freeride snowboards. While they are perfect for riding on resort terrain, they are the type of board you would ride in the backcountry.
What makes a good carving snowboard?
There are a few attributes that will make a snowboard perfect for carving.
- A directional shape of the snowboard
- A positive camber board profile
- A board with a stiff flex rating
- A longer effective edge
- A higher sidecut radius
- Added tech to help with edge hold
Here is what to look for.
The Directional Shape
Snowboards with a directional shape are usually longer than freestyle or all-mountain snowboards. They have either a pointed nose or a longer nose and are more suited for riding regular rather than switch stance. They are intended to go in one direction.
Directional snowboards can be used on any terrain, from backcountry riding to resorts. In addition, they make for perfect carving freeride snowboards because they have properties that help them float in deeper snow.
Positive Camber Profile
Camber refers to the curvature of the snowboard from its nose to its tail. For carving specifically, you will want a board that has a positive camber profile. That means that while you are standing on the snowboard the board is curving upward towards you.
A positive camber profile, also referred to as a camber dominant board profile, gives the snowboard more resistance when flexed or titled onto an edge. The positive camber helps the board rebound and dig its edge in. The positive camber profile is what makes the snowboard responsive and stable. It is the perfect board profile for someone looking to go fast and carve.
A Stiff Flex
When searching for a snowboard for carving, look for boards with a stiffer flex rating. Most snowboard companies have a rating scale out of ten to indicate their flexibility. For a carving board, you should try to get a board with a stiff flex. Usually that would mean a flex rating score greater than six out of ten.
A stiffer snowboard helps with carving because it has added an increased level of response and edge hold. This added level of response is helpful at faster speeds as you carve from edge to edge.
|Type of Riding||Flex Category||Flex Numeric|
|Freeride / Backcountry||Medium – Stiff||5 to 10|
|Carving / Racing||Stiff||7 to 10|
Longer Effective Edge Length
Effective edge is the measured length between the widest parts of the snowboard’s nose and tail along with the entire sidecut. Boards that carve well generally have a larger effective edge. A longer effective edge will give you a slower, smoother response while carving.
Higher Sidecut Radius
Sidecut radius is the measurement of the arc of the sides of your snowboard. For a smoother, longer carve, you will want a snowboard with a higher sidecut radius number. This means the sidecut is longer and has a more shallow curve.
Technology To Help With Edge Hold / Grip
Snowboard manufactures have also added some technology into the edges themselves that will help you grip the snow as you carve. You will find everything from knife-like serrated edges to multiple angled bumps to help you dig into the snow. This technology is designed to help you maintain a strong level of edge hold while carving on ice or rougher terrain.
There is one last detail to note. The positive camber combined with a stiffer flex is often recommended for experienced riders. If you’re looking for snowboards that are easier to ride, check out our beginner-friendly snowboard packages list.
So there you have it.
The best carving snowboards for 2022 – 2023 are:
- The Best All-Mountain Carving Board: Capita Black Snowboard of Death 2022
- Best 3D Profile Carving Board: Jones Flagship Snowboard
- Best Carving Boards for All Conditions: Never Summer Proto FR
- Best Freeride Snowboard for Icy Conditions: Lib Tech Dynamo
- The Best Snowboard for Eurocarves: Bataleon Party Wave Plus
- The Best Women’s Carving Board: Never Summer Lady FR
Steve Weber is an avid snowboarder and skateboarder. He has been snowboarding for 26 years, skateboarding for 20, and is always looking for a new board sport to try out. When he is not riding or skating, he runs a marketing agency. Board of the world is Steve’s blog for skateboard and snowboard gear reviews. The blog’s goal is to help people find the right board for them and encourage people to have fun outside.